A sneak peek at my “Mistake Memoir” (my big creatrix failures/triumphs)
To have an impact, do work that is uniquely you, and make a good living while doing it…it’s a dream for many of us.
Over the last 19 years as an independent, creative entrepreneur, I’ve been able to do work that I love, while helping people grow and heal, all while earning enough to support myself and my family. It is a huge blessing.
And it hasn’t always been easy!
As I prepare to lead another group of amazing womxn through the Rich Creatrix Mentorship, beginning August 15th, I want to share with you six of the important lessons in creative entrepreneurship I’ve experienced and grown through.
Here were some of my greatest challenges, blocks, and lessons, in becoming a Rich Creatrix… think of them as my “mistake memoir,” or “disaster diary!”
#1: Super Size Me. I got kinda famous for a few minutes. My ex and I created and co-starred in the Oscar-nominated documentary Super Size Me in 2004. While we had countless media opportunities (going on Oprah, The Today Show, etc.) and spoke from many stages, I didn’t have a well-built platform or vision to take full advantage of the spotlight.
I had no idea our little indy movie would be seen around the world or that we might get nominated for an Oscar!
As a newly minted chef + health coach, my idea was to build a small client based business. But there was no plan.
The work of the pro-creative requires planning. To conceive of, create, and launch a painting, art show, book, program, or service as a Creatrix entrepreneur takes vision, clarity work, Success Energetics, building a platform (social media, blog, an opt-in, etc), and outlining possible steps to handle the influx of attention your work will attract.
I’ve seen time and again that it’s never too late to start this process. Rich Creatrix clients I’ve worked with have been in business for years as doctors, healers, coaches, and consultants, yet reach a point where they feel the need to reinvest in, reinvent, and relaunch their work.
Like the saying (and my husband’s new tattoo) goes:
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time is now.
#2: Divorce from famous man. The heartbreak of divorce gets amplified in strange ways when your soon-to-be-ex is Famous. Losing friends, dividing assets, and figuring out how to explain to my 2-year old son why we were moving and wouldn’t see Daddy every day were hard enough. Letting go of the vision for my family was tough. Sadness, insecurity, pain, anger, and loss were all “normal” parts of divorce my friends shared with me.
Healing from infidelity, having internalized his indiscretions as my fault, took years to heal.
Learning how to reclaim my worth and voice through the process while often seeing his face flash across the TV screen was a different kind of issue.
I had a deep, subconscious belief that my value was tied to his fame. I didn’t feel that I was “enough” without him. To claim my worth and value took time, loving support from masterminds I joined, counseling, and coaching. To find my own voice as an independent pro-creative woman, and connect with my intrinsic value as a coach and leader required that I get out there and do the work, “on my own,” without a partner’s name or fame to bolster me. (although, we never really do anything on our own)
As we aim to build our own unique businesses, create our own art, and bring all of our skills and experiences to our work, we will all face this challenge of “feeling enough” in some way. I truly believe that with loving support and community, we can do it. 1000%.
#3: On becoming “no longer vegan.” For over 10 years I was a vegan chef. After Super Size Me I wrote 3 best-selling vegan cookbooks, and became “professionally vegan.” I went to animal rights galas and raised money to bring more plant-based foods and cooking classes into schools.
Then I became gravely ill. Due to an undiagnosed MTHFR genetic variation, I was chronically, dangerously anemic for several years. That set off a host of other health issues, and I had to start eating meat. (Chicken liver pate is now a daily snack, thank you!)
Going public that my veganism was over was like throwing a bomb on my career and relationships. I lost dozens of friends. (not just lost: several made podcasts or wrote articles about what a traitor I was) The story went viral and brought thousands of comments, hate mail, and even a couple of death threats. #irony
Taking a strong stand about your beliefs and choices will have ripple effects that you can’t anticipate. The friends, family, and community (many of you here were part of that <3!) that did stick by me became even more dear to my heart.
We need community that we can trust will love us and respect us even as we pivot, evolve, and grow. One of my Creatrix clients recently told me during our 2-day private retreat that she was certain she would lose a bunch of friends as she began to open her new mental health practice and retreats for women.
“It’s happened before, and I just know there are women who won’t understand. I’ll lose them.”
My question for her was the same that I’ve asked my son, myself, and my clients in moments like this:
If they can’t respect your authentic growth and evolution, are they really your friends?
At the time of this big No Longer Vegan explosion, I joined two different masterminds with a coach and groups of women who became dear, life-long friends. They loved me through the challenges, growth, and opportunities. When I got “flamed” online by negative comments they came to my defense. When I got a book deal to share the experience (which became Women, Food, and Desire) they cheered me on.
Having a group of supporters, cheerleaders and accountability partners as we grow and change has been a necessary part of my career. Women in the groups I create, like the Rich Creatrix Mentorship, often continue their own connections and support groups that exist long after my role as their coach ends.
#5: Shutting down the supplement line. Did you know that I once sold a line of supplements? I selected special formulas, created beautiful packaging, and worked on a distribution plan.
After a few months, some legal issues came up and we had to rename several products, thereby throwing out tons of packaging (and money). That same week, the company that fulfilled customer orders changed their rules and I now had to move thousands of units a month to keep selling the products I’d created.
After speaking with a few trusted friends and advisors, the choice became clear: I either doubled-down and became a full-time supplement company, or I cut the entire line.
There will be times as a creative entrepreneur when you have to “kill your darlings,” and step away from something you’ve invested time and money in building.
For a few days I was very sad. Deeply disappointed. And went into a raw pit of “I ruined it all. Why didn’t I see this coming? I wasted so much time and money…”
Then I began to look around at all the other resources, tools, and creations I had in my work and life. What did I want to focus on now? What could I do to recoup my investment?
I still had private coaching clients I adored, and created a new group coaching program that filled with 10 wonderful women.
I remembered that failure is a part of growth and evolution. My “Supplement Mistake” showed me that products and programs might fail, but I would succeed. #resilience
The work of getting clear, refining the vision of your work, and getting clear again? Well, that’s an ongoing process. But it can be done beautifully, while still growing and making a foundational income with your creative work.
Through investing, launching, and ultimately closing down a supplement line, I learned that I could make big mistakes and still feed my family. I discovered that my journey was taking a very different turn…
#6: Claiming My Artist. Last year I finally proclaimed my truth as an Artist. After years of dabbling with watercolors I invested in classes and spent more + more time painting. After posting a picture on Facebook, I sold my first work to a friend, have since created an online art gallery, and just had my first group show.
As an Artist I make mistakes all the time. I show up to the page, brush in hand, and often dribble, skew proportions, or overestimate the amount of water I need for a project.
At the beginning, with a great teacher, painting seemed easy. I mastered the beginning skills in a class, and felt confident. At a certain point, I began to plateau and couldn’t seem to get better. Finding my own Voice as an artist, developing my own style, seemed impossible.
It’s true as an Artist, and as any kind of pro-creative or creative entrepreneur: You work so hard, and yet you can’t see the improvement you were hoping for. “Maybe it’s just not for me,” you’re thinking, “maybe I’m wasting my time”.
The mistake we make as pro-creatives isn’t the dribbles and skewed proportions: it’s thinking that it should always be easy, and that we should get everything right the first time.
Failures and mistakes are how we learn and grow. To succeed as a pro-creative, whether you’re a writer, consultant, doctor, or coach, means taking planning, doing the work, taking risks, and continuing to show up, even in the face of challenge.
It’s how I’ve managed to build this Creatrix career and have an impact using my own specialities, passions, and experiences to serve.
This is your invitation to a very special 6-month group and private coaching opportunity with me. It’s called the Rich Creatrix Mentorship, and is open to 8 more womxn. (2 have already joined!)
The process is simple:
Click the link here and grab a 20-minute slot so we can talk. I’ll send you a few questions in advance so I can get to know you better: https://calendly.com/alexjamieson/laser-creatrix-activation-alex
This is a no-pressure chat – it’s just a chance for us to connect about what you’re up to, and so we can find out if we are a good fit for each other.
P.S. If you’re ready to let go of old stories about what you’re capable of, dissolve issues around visibility, imposter syndrome, creative blocks, self-trust, overwhelm, worthiness, and more…talk with me.
The program includes a 2-day, in-person retreat in New York City this autumn, which is always inspiring, fun, and super-clarifying for my clients.